Friday, 19 February 2016

The Story of a Play - Lucy Coats

It's what all writers dream of, isn't it - having a film or a play made of their book? Sometimes it happens quickly, but more often it takes years, or doesn't happen at all. It's taken fifteen years for me - and it's been a wonderful collaborative experience.

Early last year I was contacted by Claire and Nathalie from a company called Storystock. They wanted to turn my Atticus the Storyteller's 100 Greek Myths into a play! (Cue much rejoicing). After many meetings and much discussion, the initial stage was set at the Wilderness Festival last August. This was very much a work in progress, a trial run of the event in front of actual kids. I was lucky enough to sit in on several performances and to be involved in the process of workshopping, and it was fascinating to see the play evolve - which things worked, and which didn't - and to track the changes.

After a frantic couple of months of more in-house workshops, the play was finally ready to unveil to a paying public last October, at the Bush Theatre in Shepherd's Bush. I was there - and seeing the kids engage with Jon Parry - the wonderful actor who plays Atticus - was both heartwarming and moving for me. So many kids know and love the Greek myths it seems - I find that very encouraging. That was the day we made the video above, which will give you a little flavour of what it was like!

Yesterday, I went to the Bush Theatre again. The set had been changed around a little, but the difference I really noticed was that Jon/Atticus was even better! The ad libs made the children (and adults) fall about laughing. To tell 26 myths in 26 minutes is quite a feat, but Jon manages it brilliantly. For me it's been a magical transformation to see Atticus come alive, and to see him speak to a whole new generation of kids. Sometimes, miracles do happen for authors, and dreams do come true!

COMING SOON Cleo 2: Chosen (Orchard, March 10th)
Out now: Cleo (UKYA historical fantasy about the teenage Cleopatra VII) '[a] sparkling thriller packed with historical intrigue, humour, loyalty and poison.' Amanda Craig, New Statesman
Also out:  Beasts of Olympus series "rippingly funny" Publishers Weekly US starred review

Lucy's Website - Twitter - Facebook - Instagram

Lucy is represented by Sophie Hicks at The Sophie Hicks Agency


Sue Purkiss said...

Sounds wonderful - congratulations!

Anne Booth said...

What a wonderful thing to happen!